Science and engineering enrichment. Introducing little kids to big concepts in fun and tangible ways.
Our online classes are open to all students. Our physical classes are held in San Francisco schools as enrichment offerings.
Simple Science Experiments and Easy Engineering Challenges
PolyKid Labs offers simple science experiments and easy engineering challenges for little kids ages 3 to 8 years old. Online classes are project-based and emphasize engagement for each learner.
The materials set is curated with simplicity in mind for parents - only calling for a few common household items per lesson. Our goal is to reduce as much of the prep time and burden on parents as possible, and to make science and engineering learning a joy to families at home.
Most children ages 5-8 could be capable of working on the activities independently. Younger kids are welcome to participate with adult assistance ideal, but not required. Children are welcome to be in watch-only mode if best for any reason.
We believe any motivated child is capable of beginning to understand big concepts when they are inspired by the tangible and amazing phenomenon that can be found in science and engineering. We can't wait to see you in class!
Easy Engineering for Little Kids:
Autumn online series
Once per week for 45 minutes
Using only a handful of easy materials for each lesson, children will engage in simple activities that expose them to basic concepts in structural engineering, force and motion, aerodynamics, energy conversion, buoyancy, and many other topics.
Some examples of content covered in this summer series:
Start with small, fun, and seemingly weak materials to build structures tall and strong. What shape is the strongest in structural engineering? What shape is the strongest under compression?
Take just two small household items, and make a rocket! What shapes enable the rocket to fly steadier?
How can you play opposing forces against each other so as to keep slippery objects in place?
What designs of boats make for better buoyancy?
How far can you make sound travel, and what materials best transmit sound?
You'll find out! Participate hands-on alongside the teacher's demo, or be in watch-only mode.
How the classes will be taught:
At the start of class, teacher will introduce the topic, ask questions and solicit "smart guesses" or hypotheses as to what could happen
Teacher will demonstrate basics of the activity step-by-step, so kids gain a foundational confidence, then pose simple design challenges and allow kids to work creatively for a short time.
Some kids may actively follow along with materials at home, and others might only participate by watching.
Teacher will pause at points to allow kids to make observations or ask questions.
As the activity unfolds, teacher will facilitate discussion about the observations and discoveries.
At the end of class, children will engage in a lesson about the key science or engineering concept of the day.
Multiple questions will be sprinkled by the teacher throughout the lesson to spark curiosity in the children.
Every child will have the opportunity to speak, either by being called on individually or in a small group among others.
Any child may raise questions or observations along the way. No prior experience or knowledge of science or engineering needed.
San Francisco Classes: 2020 Autumn Term
How We Got Here
Hi there! My name is Evelyn, and I have two girls, ages five and two. They are native San Franciscans and love to do science experiments and engineering activities and to make new friends! I'm passionate about early childhood education, social emotional learning, and exposing young kids to big concepts in fun and impactful ways. I have degrees in biomedical and electrical engineering and economics from Duke University, as well as a masters in bioengineering. Education has long been in my soul and my family. My grandmother was the first woman to become a professor of modern chemistry in the 1930s at Tsinghua University (the MIT of China) in the pre-WWII era. She had an amazing knack for breaking tough concepts into easy pieces for students young and old, and filling the classroom with laughter. Fueled by that heritage and inspiration, I'm driven to contribute to the learning outcomes in our youngest generation of learners, by curating innovative, hands-on, project-based experiences that spark long-term growth mindset. Our teachers are selected for similar passion and drive towards those educational goals. Our hope is to make science and engineering joyful, intuitive, and available to more kids. Hope you'll join us!